When employees think of a workers’ compensation claim, they may often think it applies only for injuries sustained in a one-time incident. However, if you suffer from an occupational disease or injury, you may also be eligible to make a claim for benefits.
Hearing loss is a common condition that employees in certain industries, such as construction, may develop. These employees may have a valid claim for benefits through their workers’ comp carrier. Proving eligibility, however, and that your condition is work-related is challenging, and you may benefit from a qualified attorney working on your behalf.
At Greg Coleman Law, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience handling workers’ compensation and other injury claims throughout Tennessee. Contact our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyers to learn how we may be able to help.
Tennessee’s Overhauled Workers’ Comp Law
Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws underwent significant changes that impact any work-related injuries sustained after July 1, 2014. The revised laws modified how cases are handled, how injuries are examined and importantly, they also revised the definition of a work-related injury.
Work injuries now include not only injuries that are due to a one-time accident, but also mental injuries, occupational diseases, and other cumulative traumas that may arise out of the course and scope of your employment.
The changes were made to help bring Tennessee in closer alignment with similar laws in other states. Additionally, these modifications are designed to improve both the fairness and efficiency of the workers’ compensation claim process.
Proving Work-Related Hearing Loss
Proving that your hearing loss resulted in the scope of your employment is no easy task. Hearing loss damages happen over an extended time period. In theory, if you can establish that you work in a loud environment where noise levels reach 90 dBA or higher five days a week and eight hours per day, proving your claim should be easy.
Hearing loss claims can become more complicated when it comes time to prove the extent of your damages. Typically, you will need your physician to provide his or her medical expertise to determine how much hearing loss you have sustained.
This may be easier to achieve in industries where hearing loss is a more common problem. Employers may often mandate a hearing test for all new employees. If this was a requirement for you when you started working, it could help strengthen your claim as it provides a baseline hearing level when you started your job. Even if you started with some hearing loss, you may be able to show that it worsened over time.
Having an attorney on your side to help and guide you throughout this legal process may benefit your workers’ compensation claim and help to ensure you get the benefits you need.
Your Employer’s Responsibility
Your employer or job supervisor carries the responsibility of making sure his or her workers have proper safety and protective gear to protect them from occupational noise exposure as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Compliance requirements may include implementation of a hearing conservation program, providing employees with protective hearing devices and training workers on proper use of such devices and other hearing preservation training.
Why Hiring an Experienced Lawyer May Help
You may wonder why you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. If you suffered hearing loss, it may benefit your claim to let an experienced litigator handle your case. We have an in-depth understanding of Tennessee’s workers’ comp laws and how they may apply in your situation.
Additionally, our firm has a proven track record of fighting for our clients and obtaining millions in compensation on their behalf. If we find that you may have a claim, we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for you.
Contact the law offices of Greg Coleman today and learn more about what legal help we may be able to provide for you. There is no cost or obligation for your initial consultation. If we take your case, we do not charge anything up front or while we work on your case. We do not get paid unless you do.
Schedule your FREE consultation today. (865) 247-0080